Study of fatal Charleston sofa store fire still a few months away

CHARLESTON, SC - CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A federal study of a fire that killed nine South Carolina firefighters almost three years ago is now expected in a few months.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is studying the 2007 blaze that gutted the Sofa Super Store in Charleston.

Agency spokesman Michael Newman tells The Associated Press that the study has taken longer than expected because only a few institute staffers are qualified to conduct the complex computer modeling required.

The agency is using computers to determine why the fire spread so quickly, why the building collapsed and whether sprinklers could have saved lives.

The institute has conducted similar studies of fires at the World Trade Center and at a Rhode Island nightclub in 2003 that killed 100 people.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.